I’m not sure about you but I barely feel like I have recovered from the Christmas holidays and it’s already shaping up to be a jam packed year.
In the meantime all of my regular self-care and self-nurturing practices seem to have taken a holiday too!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I thought it would be perfect timing to focus on some simple ways to connect back into self and celebrate who you truly are.
I know and then we shudder…. Few people I know are comfortable about acknowledging the good in themselves. It is far easier to see it in others and we avoid embracing the greatness in ourselves for fear of seeming egotistical or self centered or out of touch reality.
But here is the thing….
Other people can only love us to the degree that we love ourselves
Take for instance if someone gives us a compliment and if our self-love is low we struggle to take it on board, it simply doesn’t sink in. Yet if our self love is comparable to the other persons we can comfortably and even cheerfully bask in their appreciation.
Maybe self-love, self-acknowledgement or self-support is just one of those things that we haven’t practiced enough for it to be comfortable or habitual or maybe it has just gotten a bit lost in the frenzy of daily life ….
Before we get started there’s just one more thing….Let’s give ourselves permission to feel a bit goofy and awkward in the process, let’s make it OK to have a healthy loving connection with ourselves just as we do with our loved ones and let’s make some time to do even 1 or 2 things on the list every day for the month of February
So here are my 14 Ways to practice Loving our Body and Loving Ourselves
1. Before your feet touch the ground in the morning think of just 3 things that you are grateful for in your life
The practice of gratitude has a multitude of benefits from lowering stress levels to improving resilience. Gratitude has the power to shift your life’s focus from the never ending stream of demands to an experience of enrichment. In addition gratitude can open up our awareness to new opportunities that may have otherwise been missed. So what or who are you grateful for?
2. Acknowledge your achievements great and small
There is so much, so so much that we overlook or downplay or dismiss in our daily lives. The good deeds we do for each other, the kindnesses offered to a friend in need, the small gestures of compassion like letting someone into busy traffic, or picking something up that has fallen for a stranger, helping a friend out with her kids or donating to charity.
Every…. single…. thing… makes a difference
I broke down in a car park the other day, yet another challenge in a demanding week. A kind man helped me get my car going and so I said “I could hug you, thank you so much!” And so he hugged me. The warmth of this stranger has stayed with me for almost two months now and he probably hasn’t given it a second thought.
Even the smallest thing makes a difference
3. Spend time in nature
Getting back in touch with the perfect harmony of nature allows us to hit the reset button and start afresh. Walking in a local park, spending time at the beach, going for a hike or even just standing barefoot in your backyard has the incredible ability to bring you back to centre.
Taking time out in nature has obvious physical benefits such as an intake of clean air and vitamin D. More importantly though it has a way of clearing the mind and calming the soul. With your soul reset you will find that you have improved clarity, resilience and direction.
The best way to maximise your time in nature is to deliberately engage your senses. Smell the fresh air, drink it into your lungs. Listen to the sounds, natural and unnatural, it’s all a part of life. Touch the leaves or notice how your feet feel in the sand.
4. Practice Acceptance
We all have stuff going on in our lives, things that we wish weren’t happening but are. Things that worry us or stretch us or stress us. The funny thing is about this exercise is that we think that by accepting the unacceptable that it will engulf us but my experience with this practice is that it takes some of the heat out of what’s bothering us.
Just by simply saying to yourself “I accept that this is happening to me and I am committed to finding my way out” reduces the inner resistance we have to whatever is going on and frees up our energy to getting on with dealing with it. Give it a try, you might be as surprised as I was at how liberating it can be!
5. Be Good to Your body
Take action to address that physical ailment that has either been niggling away in the back ground or screaming for your attention. It astounds me how many people lie in sub chronic pain for months and even years, they often live with it for so long that they have adapted their lives around it and forgotten that it’s an ongoing issue.
Other ways I notice the body asking for help is through insomnia, digestive issues, anxiety or autoimmune imbalances. Many of these conditions are considered to have links to our biopsychosocial well being, meaning that imbalances in our physiology, psychology and social environments must all be addressed to improve our wellness. All too often I see people taking care of the body but having limited progress because our psychological well being has been overlooked or vice versa.
This boiled frog effect has serious long term implications so get it seen, get advice, nurturing and nourishment and get back to living a better life.
And even if you are feeling well make a concerted effort to keep it that way. Its much easier to actively preserve your health… and enjoyable.
6. Embrace your flaws
I certainly don’t look like the woman above and whilst it might be fun to fantasize about finding that ever elusive six pack under my mummy tummy the fact is that I will always have flaws. Freeing ourselves from the unrealistic expectations fed to us by the media (and sometimes the people around us) opens up a far more authentic manner for relating with ourselves and therefore with others.
7. Find meaning
Let’s just get it out there…. Everything does NOT happen for a reason.
There are reasons for things that I just cannot fathom however when life does happen there is usually something significant that is born from the pain. A greater appreciation of life, letting go of the small stuff, stronger friendships, a new path in life. All of these experiences and more result from the suffering of life.
If you are struggling with a challenge and finding it difficult to find that meaning know that it often reveals itself once the dust settles, if you find it earlier hold on tight and use it, share it and honour it wherever it takes you.
True, fulfilling self love seems a little self indulgent at times. Yet the more frequently we connect authentically and humbly with our strengths, talents and abilities the greater our capacity to serve the world. So give even 1 or 2 of these practices a try and see what shows up!
With love… Emiline
Whether you are wanting to find greater ease in life, let go of the past or connect more authentically with self love and could use some guidance call me for a free 15 minute consultation. Realizing your goals with greater ease than ever before is often simpler than we think. So give me a call on 0419 101 665 or send me at email firstname.lastname@example.org